The stage for the Rajinder Nagar bypoll is all set in Delhi as the constituency will vote on Thursday to elect its new MLA after ex-MLA Raghav Chadha got nominated by AAP for Rajya Sabha from Punjab. The battle is largely between the AAP and the BJP for Rajinder Nagar The water shortage and the city Government’s liquor policy are among the top poll agenda. A total of 1,64,698 voters are eligible to exercise their franchise in the bypoll, in which 14 candidates are in the fray. In addition to the Durgesh Pathak of AAP, Rajesh Bhatia of the BJP and Prem Lata of the Congress, there are three others from unrecognised parties and eight Independent nominees.
The campaigning for the bypoll ended on Tuesday evening. The AAP and the BJP reached out to the voters through roadshows and door-to-door campaigns and claimed victory ahead of voting on June 23. According to locals, the AAP government’s liquor policy and water shortage are among the main issues in the bypoll. Both the AAP and the BJP have exuded confidence that it will come with flying colours in the bypoll with a huge margin.
In the posters put up by the two parties, the AAP’s slogan is “Kejriwal ki sarkar, Kejriwal ka vidhayak”, while the saffron party has been highlighting that its nominee Rajesh Bhatia, being a local resident, can serve the people of the area better, and has coined the slogan “Sthaniya voter ko chahiye sthaniya vidhayak” (the locals want a local MLA).
According to Delhi Chief Electoral Officer (CEO) Ranbir Singh, six companies, including four men and two women’s, of Central Armed Police Forces (CAPF) has been deployed for the smooth conduct of election in the Rajinder Nagar constituency. “Besides this, 308 Delhi Police Personnel and 177 Home Guards have also been deployed to conduct free and fair bye-poll,” said Singh, during a press conference on Wednesday.
“The total number of voters in the constituency are 1,64,698 comprising 92,221 male; 72,473 female, and 04 third gender voters. There are 591 PwD Electors, 39 visually impaired electors and 64 service voters. The number of first time voters within the age of 18-19 years is 1,899. The Gender ratio stands at 786, and total 190 polling stations have been set up at 21 different locations in Rajinder Nagar to help the eligible voters cast their valuable vote on the polling day,” Singh said. He appealed to the voters to cast their votes on polling day.
In the 2020 polls, the voter turnout in Rajinder Nagar was 58.27 per cent--- 58.09 per cent male voters and 58.5 per cent female voters. At 14 polling stations, the voter turnout was less than 50 per cent. Selfie kiosks have been set up at the polling booths. Voters can take selfies and post those on social media to encourage others to come out and exercise their franchise, the CEO’s office said in a statement. A model polling station has been set up at the Indian Agricultural Research Institute (IARI) in Pusa. It is an eco-friendly polling station with all green material being used.